Gilbert Anderson, Northern Alberta Métis Fiddler

In the summer of 1948, an Oblate priest made a recording of fiddle music at the "Agency," the Reserve office in Enoch. Father Gamache's historic recording is the earliest known audio documentation of Métis fiddling in Alberta. It includes several fiddle tunes played by Gilbert Anderson’s older brother Pete, with Gilbert accompanying on the guitar.

The Agency was the only place on the Enoch Reserve that was supplied with electricity. Radio reception on the Reserve was also unreliable, because radios were battery powered. The relatively primitive conditions on the Enoch Reserve, with respect to electrification and radio reception, were, in fact, typical of rural Northern Alberta during the 1940s.


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